We’re now in the second official week of summer, and I’m happy to report that despite the culture shock of the first few days, we’ve now settled into a solid daily routine.
Not that it’s not still a challenge, though. Having all six kids home all summer, coupled with The Captain not arriving home until roughly 8pm, is exhausting to say the least. My energy starts to wane by dinnertime; bedtime can occasionally be a desperate affair, and by the time I hit my own bed after the day’s shenanigans, it’s a bit like this:
So the first few days were a bit… hectic. We had approximately
- 17 fights (the he said/she said kind, and the she said/she said kind as well)
- 11 drink spills
- 19 complaints of “I’m bored.”
- 19 complaints of “There’s nothing good to eat.” (same child as above)
- 12 cries of, “I can’t find my bathing suit/towel/goggles/underwear/or anything else that I own!”
- 137 mutterings, under my breath, of “I don’t have the PATIENCE for this!”
- 1,047 Cheerios, sans milk, dumped onto table and floor
I quickly realized that I needed to refine the schedule if we were going to
survive have a great summer. So I implemented a few basic schedule modifications that so far, have helped a great deal in preserving my sanity, as well as encouraging the kids to enjoy their summer.
Sticking To A Schedule:
Yes, summer should be a more relaxed time of year. And without the restriction of the school, homework, and sports routine, it is. But I found that it was becoming TOO lackadaisical around here, in terms of waking hours, chore completion, activity choices (or lack thereof). So I developed a schedule that seems to work well.
9am– Up and dressed with beds made, and eating breakfast
9:30– Check the chore chart, & complete your assigned chores
(Free time until 11am)
11am– #6 naps, and younger girls color/practice spelling while I play game(s) with older three.
1pm– Baby’s up, lunch
1:30-5: OUTING. As in GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. It can mean park, swim lessons at local pool, visit to a friend’s house, or even hanging outside in our own yard. But OUT. We all need a break from the house.
6ish– check chore chart for evening chore
7-9 Free time (bedtime for younger kids)
I find that the best part of the schedule is that the kids know what to expect. They wake up each day knowing what’s ahead, YET- there’s enough free time incorporated to not be restrictive.
2. Wholesale Shopping:
With a family this size, you’d think I’d be shopping at wholesale clubs all the time. I don’t always -and I’ve talked about my visit to one in this prior post– but during the summer, it’s a NECESSITY. We fly through food like a culinary hurricane. Plus, outings often require juice boxes and snacks, so I do a weekly shopping trip to Costco or BJ’s to ensure that there is enough food for the week. (*Disclaimer: regardless of the quantity of food in the house, at least ONE child will complain, “There’s nothing to eeeeaaattt.” Because that’s what tweens do.)
3. Ya Gotta Have FRIENDS…!
We invite playdates over. A LOT. Because I’m an old-school mama in that respect, and since I already have six kids, what’s a few more? Seriously. I like being aware of what my kids are up to, and I still fondly remember summers of playing in the street for hours with the neighbor kids. While my kids don’t play in the street -I blame you, you crazy drivers!- , they spend more time outside. And less time arguing with their siblings, which is a BIG plus for ME.
4. Limit The Technology:
Yes, we have iPods. And a Wii, which I’ve talked about. And Netflix, computers, etc. But I don’t want my kids glued to a screen, so I limit the usage to 45 minutes a day during the week. Yes, I’m that mom. The meanest mom EVER. But you know what? Once they got used to the concept, my kids started playing. With each other. And the less screen time they have, the more time we stay connected, myself included.
Good God. Laundry is an ongoing struggle, no matter how much we do, or how much I delegate the job to others. There’s tons of it. And a day or two of missed laundry makes my basement look something like THIS:
While I do have a method for laundry, I have to up my game over the summer. Since we visit the pool at least three times a week, clean towels and bathing suits are a perpetual necessity. So each child has a color coded pool towel. And each child has at least 3-4 bathing suits. After each pool trip, said pool items are placed, wet, in a laundry basket that is located on top of the washing machine. Each night, the items are washed, dried, folded, and placed on a rack by the front door. Every.Single.Day.
(Disclaimer: while this works for towels and suits, we’re still struggling with shoes. I don’t get it. Why does one shoe get lost, no matter how hard I try???)
Time flies. And while the days are long, the years are short. And while I have my kids home, without the distraction of school and general school-year busyness, I want to invest my time and energy into giving them a summer that they’ll enjoy. And a summer that I’ll not only survive sans help, but also enjoy WITH them.© Copyright 2015 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom